conversations and loss of words

The last few evenings Lori and I have had some stellar conversations between the two of us. Last night, she asked me, “If you throw a party for someone, what do you call the person for whom the party was thrown?” Blank mind. Seriously. I’ll blame it on being sick with a cold/flu. Then came the following answers. “The person who the party’s for?” Lori suggested, “the honouree?” One of us said, “the birthday girl or boy?” I said, “the person you say congratulations to?” One of us said, “the person of honour?” Lori said, “the celebratee?” Then I suggested, “why don’t we just Google ‘the person who the party’s for’? We did. Nothing of help. The first site said something about “which party supports capital punishment.” Not really what we were looking for. Eventually I came up with the idea to look up “guest” on the dictionary on my computer. In the entry under guest, I found a section on phrases and under that I found “guest of honour.” The search was complete.

It’s so strange how vocabulary leaves your mind when you stop using it. I never thought I would really forget English words this much but it’s happening. We were utterly clueless last night in our search for “guest of honour.” Sometimes it feels like we’re playing some board game where you’re trying to describe the actual word that your partner has to guess. Kind of like the board game Taboo except you can use any word you can think of to describe the word you’re searching for.

At dinner tonight, Lori came up with another word that we’re still searching for – “what do you call the thing that you say before you make a statement that you need to think about before you say the statement?” [Upon rereading this sentence before posting, Lori said, “this is what our English has come to.”] None of my suggestions seemed to be what she was looking for and the Google search didn’t shed any light on anything either. Oh, words….

[Added Note: I realise this post may seem ridiculous to the average reader. It’s probably one of those things that’s funnier if you were there. Anyhow, Lori and I had fun with it.]

One thought on “conversations and loss of words

  1. Roy says:

    I guess it is a good sign when you start to forget English, since it means your competence is growing in the other language. I’m in the same boat with friends here. Someone will say something in English that we all understand, but that we also know is wrong. The problem is that we can’t remember what it should be.Your preamble (as a precursor should be) was great … even if you couldn’t remember the word!Oh, and that vegetable pod thing that Lori loves so much … here in Vietnam they translate it “bitter gourd” and it is usually stuffed with meat in a watery soup! Or mixed with egg and quick fried. At least I think that’s what it is!

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